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Azamat Tazhayakov, one of the two students from Kazakhstan charged with obstruction of justice for removing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack and laptop from his dorm room, has a new lawyer. He is Arkady Bukh from New York. Bukh is reaching out to the media on Twitter offering his commentary (here to Dr. Phil) and exclusive tips on the case. His offer to CNN is here.
Azamat's father, Amir Ismagulov, a wealthy businessman from Kazakhstan is also now in Boston, embarking on a media tour to clear his son. Yesterday, he was filmed paying his respects at the memorial to the victims. He said his son wanted him to go. [More...]
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George Zimmerman's lawyers have filed a motion seeking a Frye hearing to determine the admissibility of the testimony of any voice experts the state may want to call at his trial on the issue of who was screaming in the background of Witness 11's 911 call to police. The motion is here.
The Martin family thinks it was Trayvon screaming. Zimmerman's family is equally insistent it was George. FBI experts stated no conclusion could be reached due to the quality and nature of the recording.
The Orlando Sentinel retained two experts who used different methods. Tom Owen concluded it was not George but having never heard Trayvon's voice, he couldn't conclude it was Trayvon. He used a new biometric program he developed. The other expert used a different technique and concluded a young male was screaming. (He had never heard Trayvon's voice either.)
I discussed the reliability of voice biometrics here. [More...]
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The funeral director who has Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body says he can't find a cemetary willing to accept his body for burial.
Reportedly, a second autopsy is or has been performed on Tamerlan at the request of the parents or lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
His father said early on they would like his body returned to Dagestan.
The father said he had no hope that Tamerlan's body would be released by the U.S. authorities to be buried in his homeland.
"They won't give us his body," he said, his voice breaking with emotion. "We wont be able to bury him in our land."
Perhaps he will be cremated and his ashes scattered at sea or returned to Russia. Adam Lanza, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy and Klebold and Harris (Columbine) were all cremated. There's a company in Connecticut that arranges burials at sea, three miles offshore in the Long Island Sound.
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The Boston Globe reports it has seen the death certificate for Tamerlan Tsarnaev and that it states he died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma.
The document, viewed by the Globe on Friday, shows that Tsarnaev was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. April 19.
The death certificate also states that Tsarnaev was shot by police, and run over and dragged by a vehicle.
Police insist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran him over when fleeing the scene in the carjacked Mercedes. Considering the massive, non-stop video footage of the shootout by news organizations and neighbors, you would think there would be one photo or screen grab showing a vehicle running over Tamerlan and dragging him. I sure haven't seen one. That doesn't stop the media from reporting as fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran over his brother. [More...]
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Here is the Complaint filed today against three of Dzhokar Tsarnaev's friends, Dias Kadyrbayev, Azamat Tazhayakov and Robel Phillipos. The complaint alleges Dias and Azamat went to Dzhokar's dorm room and retrieved his laptop and a backpack with explosives, which Dias later threw away. They are charged with obstruction of justice. Phillipos is charged with lying to authorities. [More...]
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So much for the Boston Police' public speculation that Dzhokar Tsarneav may have shot himself in the neck in a suicide attempt -- and their claim the gunfire battle occuring at the boat was two-way.
Officials now say Dzhokar was unarmed when he was captured. No gun was found on or around the boat.
Two U.S. officials say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect, was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard. Authorities originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him.
Interesting that instead of this being the headline, CBS has a headline referring to a speculative claim by police in the article that Tamerlan may have financed the venture with marijuana sales. No support for is given other than Tamerlan was unemployed.
According to his wife, he was the stay at home dad while she worked 60 to 80 hours a week. That's hardly evidence of drug dealing. [More...]
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Yesterday I mentioned a doozy of an indictment against 13 prison guards in Baltimore that sounded like a plot from the Wire. It's really more like a soap opera.
Here is the FBI press release. All of the charged guards are female. Four were impregnated at the jail by the same imprisoned alleged gang leader -- one of them twice.
Correctional Officers Smuggled in Cell Phones and Drugs and were “in Bed” with BGF Inmates; Surprise Searches Conducted by Federal Agents and Trusted Officers from Outside Baltimore
In addition to the 13 guards, 12 jailed inmates and/or their associates are charged in the huge RICO indictment. It took 170 agents to arrest them and execute related search warrants. [More...]
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged by federal complaint yesterday and advised of his rights today at the hospital by U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler.
The judge ordered him removed from the custody of the FBI and into the custody of the U.S. Marshals. He was represented by Assistant Federal Defender William Fick. Also to be representing him: Attorneys Conrad and Watkins.
He has been charged with two counts (Complaint here):
- Destruction 18 U.S.C. s 844(i): Malicious Destruction of Property Resulting in Death
- 18 U.S.C. s 2332a(a): Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction
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President Obama is speaking now.
There are unanswered questions. Why did these men resort to violence? How did they plan it? Did they receive help?
Public safety is at risk and we will investigate. We won't rush to judgment about their motivations.
It's important that we do this right.
He talks about the victims and then the people in West Texas.
Buzz word: "Public safety." He won't be given Miranda rights. They will invoke the public safety exception to Miranda. See NY v. Quarles. The High Value Detainee Interrogation Group will do the questioning. Then they will mirandize him. (There is no set limit but it is thought to be around 48 hours.) The most recent high profile case it was used in was that of underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab. Opinion here.
Question: When will the Federal Defender get to see him?
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Update: 8:45 pm ET: Suspect is in custody and alive. A medic has been called.
Thoughts: I'm still having flashbacks to Andrew Cunanan, suspected of killing Gianni Versace, who was surrounded on a houseboat in Miami. (So is reporter Frances Robles, who covered the incident live.) I was in NY that night providing live commentary for MSNBC. I remember when Cunanan was found dead inside the houseboat, and some idiot law enforcement official on the show said "Justice had been done." I blasted him, and told him justice is done when a suspect is arrested and brought to trial, not found dead. Kudos to law enforcement tonight for getting the suspect to surrender or at least apprehending him alive. [More...]
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Sounds like the suspect is no longer in Watertown or even in the vicinity. The indoor stay in Watertown has been lifted.
Col. Alben: They have not not apprehended suspect yet, but they will. They followed leads in Eastern Mass, none were fruitful.
They will draw back the tactical teams in Watertown. FBI is leading the investigation.
Shorter version seems to be either he got away or he's dead.
Since patrols are continuing, are they looking for other suspects or people that aided the brothers?
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Police are letting people back into their homes. Is Dzhokar dead?
The information coming out on the brothers is still somewhat conflicting as to last night's events.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the suspect in the black hat, was killed last night. He was an amateur boxer with Olympic aspirations. His brother, Dzokhar, 19, is a student at U Mass at Dartmouth. He was an honor student in high school. Their classmates describe both of them as very nice guys that gave no indication of extremist beliefs or violence.
Dzokhar became a citizen on 9/11/12. The family fled Dagestan, next to Chechnya in southern Russia, for Kyrgyzstan in the early 1990's. In 2002 the family (like many others there) was granted asylum in the U.S. The brothers grew up here.
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Update 4:30 a.m: Latest reports: There has been an official impromptu news conference. The MIT officer is dead, another officer is in surgery. It began with a robbery at a 7/11, followed by the killing of the MIT officer in his car, a carjacking of a Mercedes and a car chase to Watertown. One suspect, reportedly the one in the black hat in the FBI photo, is dead. The suspect in the white hat is at large. Police have surrounded a commercial building in Watertown. [More...]
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One year ago today George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The 5th District Court of Appeals has ordered the state to file a response to Zimmerman's petition for writ of cert to overturn the trial court judge's refusal to allow the defense to depose Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump. The response is due April 28. It also granted the defense 10 days to file a reply to the state's response.
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While the rest of the nation is in financial straits due to the sequester cuts, the DEA soldiers on. It just finished spending months on yet another Most Excellent African Adventure, which ended with traipsing 5 Africans, who had never set foot on U.S. soil or planned to commit any crime here before the DEA suggested one to them, to New York where they face potential life sentences.
Once again, the case involves FBI informants pretending to be Colombian providers of cocaine offering to fly drugs from South America to West Africa. Had the drugs been real, they would been shuttled from Africa to Europe. For jurisdictional purposes, the informants made sure to tell the Africans that a minor portion of the drugs would go to the U.S. and Canada.
To make the case fit the DEA’s “narco-terrorism” meme, the informants also asked the Africans to supply missiles and weapons, telling them they wanted to use them in Colombia to shoot down U.S. aircraft destroying their cocaine fields.
There never were any drugs or weapons of course. It was just another sting. [More...]
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